tech for Silicon Valley

We brought our tech for event series to California: Combat climate change – will tech solve the crisis or make it worse? We discussed this key question with leading experts from different sectors. 

Temperature is rising. In over 140 years, average global temperature has increased by over 1° Celsius. A significant amount, which is beginning to leave its marks – globally.
We are already seeing and feeling the resulting environmental changes. But this is just a taste of what’s to come above 1.5° Celsius. In comparison, a five-degree drop covered a large part of North America under a mass of ice over 20,000 years ago. 

This is why at tech for Silicon Valley we are bringing together different perspectives on solutions toward a sustainable future in the context of the green energy transition. We talked about clean power generation as the prerequisite of green energy distribution and about the role of technology as the key enabler of the clean energy transition.
To create an easier, safer and greener environment for generations to come. Together. 

Thank you for watching our 1-hour panel discussion with Q&A session on 27 July, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm (PDT).

Enjoy watching the recording below. 


Watch the full panel discussion of tech for a sustainable future

Meet our speakers and moderator

Elizabeth Kaiga
Chief Commercial Officer,
Det Norske Veritas (DNV) North America

Elizabeth Kaiga is Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at DNV, North America. In this role she focuses on providing strategies and solutions to support an equitable global transition to safer, reliable, and sustainable energy. She also chaired DNV’s Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board.
In addition to her role as CCO at DNV, she serves on the Board of Directors for Women of Renewable Industries & Sustainable Energy (WRISE) and on the Board of Directors for Solar Sister, an organization that delivers clean energy solutions to off-grid rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, by leveraging a network of women entrepreneurs.
She is a transformational leader in the energy industry who has, for over two decades, developed and implemented innovative growth and client development strategies for national and global professional service firms. 

Erik Stokes
Deputy Director of the Energy Research and Development Division,
California Energy Commission

In his over 14 years at the California Energy Commission, Erik Stokes has spearheaded numerous initiatives to bring new clean energy technologies to the market. Erik has worked to strengthen California’s innovation ecosystem for cleantech entrepreneurship which has helped cleantech start-ups attract over $9 billion in private investment.
In addition, Erik has worked to address barriers that prevent broader deployment of emerging clean energy technologies, particularly in underserved communities. In 2016, Erik and his team pioneered a $50 million design-build competition to transform low-income neighborhoods into some of the most technologically-advanced clean energy communities in the world. In 2019, his team launched Empower Innovation, the first professional networking platform developed specifically for the cleantech sector. Empower Innovation has grown to over 3,000 members.

Katie Mehnert
CEO and Founder
ALLY Energy

The modern architect of the energy workforce, Katie Mehnert is the Founder and CEO of ALLY Energy™ the community accelerating connections, jobs, and skills to drive an equitable energy transition. ALLY Energy is an inaugural member of Greentown Labs Houston, the top climate tech incubator in North America. Ms. Mehnert has held global leadership roles with BP and Shell in safety and environment during periods of financial crisis, spills, divestment, and globalization. Her early career included assignments with Duke Energy, Entergy, and Enron. Her corporate path drove her to entrepreneurship to help energy companies prepare for the looming talent shortage and workforce diversity needs to address energy poverty and climate change. She was appointed Ambassador to the United States Department of Energy in 2020 during the Trump Administration and has testified before Congress on the clean energy workforce of the future. She was most recently appointed by the Biden Administration to the National Petroleum Council. She’s also an Energy Institute Fellow and an advisor to Clean Energy for America. Ms. Mehnert is a speaker, author, and trusted source in the energy industry. She has been published in Scientific American, Forbes, The Hill, CNBC, and CNN. Her first book, Grow with the Flow, was published in 2020. She most recently coauthored Everyday Superheroes: Women in Energy, a children’s book focused on energy careers. Mrs. Mehnert also has appeared in Hot Money, a documentary produced by Academy Award-winning actor, Jeff Bridges and Retired NATO General Wesley Clark on the financial complexities of climate change and finance, and Dirty Nasty People, a film on the future of the energy workforce. Katie is a four-time World Major marathoner having completed London, Chicago, New York, and Berlin. Her husband is an executive with Baker Hughes. They live with their 12-year-old daughter, Ally, in West Houston.

Andreas Urschitz
Member of the Management Board and CMO,
Infineon Technologies

Andreas Urschitz, CMO at Infineon Technologies, has been with the company for 27 years and has always driven technological solutions to shape the decarbonization and digitalization of the world. Infineon's energy efficiency technologies enable energy savings along the electrical conversion chain, from green energy generation to lossless transmission and less consumption. He has always had the firm conviction that technical development should not be an end in itself, but should make life better, protect the future of humanity and even make the world safer and more livable. Andreas grew up on a farm and learned early on how important it is to make sustainable choices.

Greg Williams
Editor-in-chief, WIRED UK

By meeting world-changing innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs, Greg Williams identifies challenges and opportunities to innovate. As Editor-in-Chief of WIRED UK, Greg is an authority combining storytelling expertise and an in-depth knowledge of technology trends and their impact on business and society. Scanning the horizon for world-changing technologies, ideas and companies, Greg is constantly on the lookout for genuinely transformative trends.